Why should you collect child support from the other parent?

Many divorced or unmarried parents forgo seeking child support for their kids from the children’s other parent. Their reasons vary — a sense of pride that they can do it all themselves, not wanting to involve the courts or the child support agency, the desire to eliminate interactions with that person — but those reasons need to be re-thought.

The fact is that parents who turn down child support for their children are doing their kids a disservice. This is true whether they earn sufficient income to cover all necessities or not. In fact, there is evidence that paying child support increases non-custodial parents’ involvement in their children’s lives. This is because parents paying support are invested in their child’s life.

Still adamant that you don’t need the hassle of getting money out of the other parent to give your child their best life? Take the money and bankroll it for them until they turn 18 or 21. By then, they should have a substantial college fund built up. If they don’t plan to matriculate at an institution of higher learning, they could use it to purchase a nice car, put a down payment on a home or enjoy traveling the world for a year or so.

It could be that you don’t know where to start to begin collecting support. Perhaps you never established paternity of your child at birth (or shortly thereafter). That doesn’t mean that it is now too late to seek that support. If you want to learn more about your rights and responsibilities regarding child support for your son or daughter, there are resources out there to help you.

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